Saturday 7 February 2015

West Ham edge it in close tussle with Man United

Ahead of today's crunch Premiership clash between West Ham and Manchester United we consider a team comprised of players who have played for both clubs - the impressive ‘West Man United XI’. Ultimately, we ask, will these performers be considered Hammers or Devils?

At Man United he failed to inspire confidence - epitomised by ‘the goal that never was’. Joined West Ham in 2005 after falling out over a lack of first team opportunities. Had a good initial season but sustained a back injury in Jan 2006 and slipped into a variety of difficulties that ultimately earned him a place in the ‘Troubled Bubbles XI’! Verdict Neither.

Hammers debut at the tender age of 17, Rio soon forced his way into the first team squad where he continued to impress until Leeds paid a record 18 million for him in November 2000. Quickly moved to Man United where he has been a fantastic servant for a decade and was key to the many successes of the past decade.Too old to make a fairytale return to the Boleyn he is helping QPR back into the Championship. Verdict Devil.

8 appearances for Man United where he was never really given a chance. A bargain signing for 500K for West ham that led to a five year career and over 100 appearances . Versatile defender who had his finest hour when scoring twice in a 4-0 victory over Man United in 2010. Ran out of road as the Hammers regrouped after relegation and moved to Birmingham. Verdict: Hammer.

Top man. Signed from Cork Athletic in 1952. Noel enjoyed a fruitful 8 years at West Ham with 250 appearances. Captained the Hammers to promotion back to the top flight for the first time in almost 30 years in 1958 . Sold to man Utd for almost 30K in 1960 where he captained a cup winning side and was part of two league winning teams. Verdict Hammer.
More than a century ago both clubs were graced with the contributions of this scottish forward who between 1900-3 scored 41 goals in 78 appearances for the Hammers, including four on his debut! A subsequent spell at Man United delivered 13 goals in 29 games, before he returned to the Hammers for 5 more years. The status of players at the time is highlighted by the fact that his date of death is unknown! Hammer

Industrious and gamey, the 'Guvnor' was a top performer in the Hammers shirt after replacing Billy Bonds in 1987. However, mishandled his Hammers departure that included being photographed in a Man United shirt well before the deal was confirmed. Probably did not deserve the criticisms thrown his way by Fergie and after 6 years and over 200 appearances. Verdict: Devil.

Another one thrown in as a teenager at 17 into the Hammers first team. Skilful but perhaps a little ‘ghosty’ at times. Happy to do the unglamorous work and stayed loyal after relegation in 2003 before losing patience and moving to Spurs for £3.5 Million and then Man United where he has never quite stepped up to the lead role in midfield predicted for him. Solid. Verdict Devil.

Trouble with a capital T during his time at Man United, Fergie tired of his disciplinary problems and Big Sam obliged for a mere 650K. Initially farmed out for a season to grow up at Birmingham City, 'Raveldo' seemed to be realising his potential until a number of spats and 'disappointing' loan periods at QPR and Cardiff. Considered by many to be the most naturally skillful English player since Gazza? Verdict Neither!

A hero wherever he roamed throughout his career (even Millwall!). Arrived at Man United late in his career but proved another astute Fergie signing and achieved legendary status in stoppage time of the 1999 Champions League final. Came to the Hammers not far short of pension age but still had plenty to offer by virtue of his excellent footballing brain. Has revolutionised Allardyce's attack as forwards coach. Verdict Both.

Played in a different era when United were not quite the same powerhouse they are now but picked up a cup winners medal, scoring in the 1977 final against lovely Liverpool. Moved to the Hammers in 1979 after a nasty knee injury but still managed to play a major part in the 1980 Cup final victory over Arsenal, teeing up Trevor Brooking’s ‘stunning’ header! Verdict Both.

Arrived to the Boleyn in 2006 as part of a bizarre deal. He then underperformed for two-thirds of a season of Carlos in a lacklustre side until it all clicked into gear for the final 10 games where he couldn’t stop scoring, including a legendary final day 1-0 win at Old Trafford to keep the Hammers up! The Apache had some classy moments in the United shirt but got sidetracked by his own ego needs and then moved across the city in another strange transfer deal!!!!.Verdict Hammer.

Final score 5-4 to the Hammers! A crucial boost ahead of today's game. COYI!!!

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